Topic 4 Magic triangle: C2C, LCA and CE

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) are different concepts – a shared link is the Life Cycle Approach (Life Cycle Thinking). LCA study combined with C2C principles opens up possibilities for a truly data-driven Circular Economy.

Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C)

Cradle-to-cradle is a term used to describe a material or product that is recycled into a new product at the end of its life so that there is no waste.

The cradle-to-cradle variant of LCA is the broadest and most complete assessment covering the entire circular life cycle of a product system with a potential product reuse/recycling loop.

  • Do more good, not just less harm
    C2C focuses on optimising positive impact, while LCA studies primarily focus on reducing a negative impact
  • Rethink material use
    The C2C concept goes a step further to ensure that all materials used in production can be reused as a nutrient, remaining either in a biological cycle (returning them to the biosphere without harm) or in a technical cycle (reusing materials continuously without loss of value)
  • A product’s sustainable performance can be maximised by combining reliable data from LCA with the C2C concept to inform the wider circular economy

The potential is limitless if these concepts and life cycle thinking are fully combined.

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